What is digital education?

Defining digital education, plus University of Edinburgh strategy and vision in this area.

Digital education is the innovative use of digital tools and technologies during teaching and learning, and is often referred to as Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) or e-Learning. Exploring the use of digital technologies gives educators the opportunity to design engaging learning opportunities in the courses they teach, and these can take the form of blended or fully online courses and programmes.

Blended learning

screengrab Teaching Matters blog

"Blended approaches use multiple methods to deliver learning by combining face-to-face interactions with online activities" From:  Blended learning 'starter tool', Higher Education Academy

An example of blended learning is the flipped classroom where online activities are completed outside the classroom providing an opportunity for more in-depth discussion during the face-to-face time spent in class.

The Teaching Matters Blog contains a number of examples of blended and flipped learning

Teaching Matters blog - flipped learning posts

Online Learning

Online learning offers many benefits for students, including the chance to study flexibly and from a location that suits.

Many of the benefits of online learning are outlined in more detail on the University's Postgraduate Online Learning website

See the online learning pages for more information about online learning and the support available

Online learning

Vision and Strategy for Digital Education

Digital Education is a core theme of the University's Learning and Teaching Strategy (PDF)

We will develop and enhance our curriculum by:…

Committing to the creative use of digital technologies in our teaching and assessment where appropriate whether online, blended or on-campus;

We will recruit and nurture excellent teaching staff by:...

Pursuing the aspiration that every educator is a digital educator, and that all teaching staff are supported in the appropriate use of the full breadth of learning technologies;

Source: University of Edinburgh Learning and Teaching Strategy

The future of digital education at Edinburgh

Near Future Teaching homepage

The Near Future Teaching project has been collaborating with staff and students to co-design the future of digital education at the University.

Near Future Teaching - main website

A short video introduction to the project (opens in Media Player)

A number of themes have emerged from the project and these are explored in more depth in a series of video posts on the Teaching Matters blog. Themes explored have included Too Much Tech, Learning & Creativity, Community and Distance, and Data and Automation.

Teaching Matters blog - Near Future Teaching theme

Near Future Teaching project outputs also include two reviews of key trends:

Future Teaching trends: education and society

Future Teaching trends: science and technology

The project is now at a consolidation and testing stage, and expects to report on the vision of digital education at Edinburgh by the end of 2018.

Approaches to Digital Education

Examples of some of the approaches to Digital Education can be found in the Teaching Matters Blog - Digital Education theme

The 2018 Learning and Teaching conference had a Digital Education theme and the programme highlights some innovative practices in teaching and learning from across the University. The keynotes and other conference resources are available on the conference website.

It is helpful to plan digital education approaches at the course or programme design stage. Considering what digital technologies to use during the design (or re-design) stage gives the course and programme teams an opportunity to adopt digital education approaches that suit their particular context.

Further support on course and programme design

Questions about Digital Education?

Please get in touch with Celeste McLaughlin.

Celeste McLaughlin

Head of Academic Development for Digital Education

Contact details